For I know
The particle (w) , which is sometimes rendered by the copulative "and", by an adversative "but", and sometimes as a causal particle "for", should not be rendered here by either; but as an explanative, "to wit", or "namely", as it is by Noldius F25; in connection with the preceding words; in which Job wishes some words of his were written in a book, or engrossed on sheets of lead, or were cut out on some rock, and particularly were engraved on his tombstone; "namely", these following, "I know that my Redeemer liveth" and to this agrees Broughton, "how that my Redeemer liveth"; let these be the words written, engraved, and cut out there: by my Redeemer, he means not any mere man that should rise up and vindicate him; for the account of his then living, and of his standing on the earth in the latter day, will not agree with such an one; nor God the Father, to whom the character of a Redeemer is seldom or ever given, nor did he ever appear or stand on earth, nor was his shape seen at any time, ( John 5:37 ) ; but the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is our "Goel", the word here used, our near kinsman, and so our Redeemer, to whom the right of redemption belonged; and who was spoken of by all the holy prophets, from the beginning of the world, as the Redeemer of his people, who should redeem them from all their sins; from the law, its curses and condemnation; from Satan, and his principalities and powers; from death and hell, and everlasting destruction; and that by giving himself a ransom for them; all which was known in the times of Job, ( Job 33:24 ) ; and known by him, who speaks of him as living; he then existed not only as a divine Person, as he did from all eternity, but in his office capacity as Mediator, and under the character of a Redeemer; for the virtue of his future redemption reached to all the ages before it, from the foundation of the world; besides, the epithet "living" points at him as the "living God", as he is, ( Hebrews 3:12 ) ; and so equal to the work of redemption, and able to redeem, and mighty to save; of whom it is said, not that he has lived, or shall live, but "liveth"; ever lives; and so an expression of the eternity of Christ, who is from everlasting to everlasting, the same today, yesterday, and for ever; and who, though he died in human nature, yet is alive, and lives for evermore; he has life in and of himself, as he is God over all blessed for ever; and has life in him for all his people, as Mediator; and is the author of spiritual life in them, and the donor of eternal life to them; and because he lives, they shall live also. Now Job had an interest in him as the living Redeemer, and knew he had, which is the greatest blessing that can be enjoyed; an interest in Christ is of infinitely more worth than the whole world, and the knowledge of it exceeds all others; this knowledge was not merely speculative, nor only approbational and fiducial, though such Job had, ( Job 13:15 Job 13:16 ) ; but the knowledge of assurance of interest; to know Christ as a Redeemer of men, and not our Redeemer, is of no avail; the devils know him to be a Redeemer, but not theirs: men may have an interest in Christ, and as yet not know it; interest is before knowledge; it is neither knowledge nor faith that gives interest, but God of his grace gives both interest and knowledge: and such a knowledge as here expressed is a peculiar favour; it is owing to an understanding given to know him that is true, and that we are in him that is true; and to the spirit of wisdom and revelation, in the knowledge of Christ, and to the testimony which he bears; and such knowledge will support under the greatest afflictions and sorest trials; under the ill usage of friends, and the loss of nearest and dearest relations, and in the views of death and eternity; all which was Job's case:
and [that] he shall stand at the latter [day] upon the earth;
appear in the world in human nature; be the seed of the woman, and born of one, be made flesh, and dwell among men, and converse with them, as Jesus did; who stood upon the land of Judea, and walked through Galilee, and went about doing good to the bodies and souls of men; and this was in the last days, and at the end of the world, ( Hebrews 1:1 ) ( 9:26 ) ; as a pledge of this there were frequent appearances of the son of God in an human form to the patriarchs; nor need it seem strange that Job, though not an Israelite, had knowledge of the incarnation of Christ, when it is said to F26 be the opinion of the Indian Brahmans that God often appeared in the form and habit of some great men, and conversed among men; and that Wistnavius, whom, they say, is the second Person of the triune God, had already assumed a body nine times, and sometimes also an human one; and that the same will once more be made by him; and Confucius, the Chinese philosopher F1, left it in writing, that the Word would be made flesh, and foresaw the year when it would be: or, "he shall rise the last out of the earth" F2; and so it may respect his resurrection from the dead; he was brought to the dust of death, and was laid in the grave, and buried, in the earth, and was raised out of it; and whose resurrection is of the greatest moment and importance, the justification, regeneration, and resurrection of his people depending on it: but this is not to be understood as if he was the last that should rise from the dead; for he is the firstfruits of them that sleep, and the firstborn from the dead, the first that rose to an immortal life; but that he who, as to his divine nature, is the first and the last; or that, in his state of humiliation, is the last, the meanest, and most abject of men F3; or rather, who, as the public and federal head of his people, is "the last Adam", ( 1 Corinthians 15:45 ) ; and who did rise as such for their justification, which makes the article of his resurrection an unspeakable benefit: or, "he shall stand over the earth in the latter day" F4 in the last times of all, in the close of time, at the end of the world, at his appearing and kingdom, when he shall come to judge the quick and dead; those that will be alive, and those that will be raised from the dead, who will meet him in the air over the earth, and shall be for ever with him; and even then "he shall stand upon the earth"; for it is expressly said, that when he shall come, and all the saints with him, "his feet shall stand on the mount of Olives", ( Zechariah 14:4 Zechariah 14:5 ) ; or, "he shall stand against the earth at the latter days" F5; in the resurrection morn, and shall exercise his authority over it, and command the earth and sea to give up their dead; and when at his all commanding voice the dead shall come out of their graves, as Lazarus came out of his, he shall stand then upon the dust of the earth, and tread upon it as a triumphant Conqueror, having subdued all his enemies, and now the last enemy, death, is destroyed by the resurrection of the dead: what a glorious and enlarged view had Job of the blessed Redeemer!
F25 (ynaw) "nempe ego", Nold. Ebr. Concord. Partic. p. 696. No. 1750.
F26 Huet. Alnetan. Quaest. l. 2. c. 13. p. 234.
F1 Martin. Sinic. Hist. l. 4. p. 131.
F2 (Mwqy rpe le Nwrxaw) "qui postremus ex palvere (terra) surget", Nold. ib.
F3 "Novissimus", i.e. "miserrimus et abjectus", Bolducius; "sic ultimus miserorum", Ciceron. Orat. pro Flacco 24.
F4 "Supra pulverem", Cocceius, Schultens.
F5 "Adhibebit suam vim pulveri", Tigurine version.